The British Government is threatening to further undermine religious liberty by arguing that Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work.
According to a March 10th article in the Daily Telegraph, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross. They will argue that “because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so,” the Telegraph reports.
It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.
The Christian women bringing the case, Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin, claim that they were discriminated against when their employers banned them from wearing a cross. They want the European Court to rule that this breached their human right to manifest their religion.
Lord Alton of Liverpool told the Dignitatis Humanae Institute: “In the most subtle way, we in Britain are again seeing religious freedom – a liberty that underpins all the others – under threat. And again it is Christians who are being unjustly targeted, not members of other religions.”
The Catholic peer, who heads the Cross Party Working Group on Human Dignity, added: “What makes this stance particularly strange is that only last month the leader of a British Government delegation on a visit to the Vatican warned that the UK was under threat from a rising tide of “militant secularisation” reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes.” Is the Government therefore now consciously willing to lead the country down this path?”